Fine Gael resorts to a tiresome tarnishing of Independent TD’s – McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has strongly criticised senior Fine Gael sources for engaging in what he has described as a mean spirited attempt to discredit the role of those Independent TD’s who took part in recent Government formation talks. Deputy McGrath was speaking after senior sources within the party and an unnamed senior Fine Gael minister are reported in Sunday’s Irish Independent to have characterised the Independents approach as ‘pork barrel politics,’:

“The attempt by these cowardly and unnamed sources to portray our recent attempts as a grasping for political advantage is wholly unwarranted and deeply detrimental to whatever good faith was built up during this process.

We have stated at all times that our single greatest motivation was to bring an element of stability to a chaotic and otherwise paralysed political process.

We have pleaded with both of the major parties to engage and end the posturing that has been going on for eight weeks now.

To come out now and describe our actions as financially reckless is a disgrace.

What I and most of my colleagues have done is to present before both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail a number of priorities that need to be immediately addressed; which I would remind Fine Gael are the direct result of the previous governments utter neglect and mismanagement.

To somehow characterise a prioritisation of hospital services, or the ring fencing of mental health budgets, or the rejuvenation of rural Ireland as ‘pork barrel politics’ is a cheap and easy jibe.

I would say that we are now in a space where it is going to be incredibly difficult to continue at any level with this process given the ease with which Fine Gael have resorted to this kind of despicable and damaging insinuations.

So much for the ‘partnership’ and parity of esteem that the Taoiseach was repeating ad nauseam all of last month,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

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